stopping Carvedilol (Coreg): When will the effects wear off?

Posted by teatime @teatime, Apr 28, 2016

Hi everyone,

I am glad to be a part of this community. Please foregive the long post. I was wondering if anyone has had a hard time while being on and going off Carvedilol (Coreg).

I am an active 45 year old mom of a young child. I have always tried to eat healthily and keep in shape (I do yoga, pilates and, run about 5k 2x per week). My BP has always been pretty good, but since my 40´s it has gone up a bit (heredity factors play a role). My BP and heart rate also “spike” when I get stressed or anxious, but for the most part are pretty level during normal times. I do have anxious moments, but I would not say anxiety has been a major life problem. At my last check (Feb 2016), and after wearing a 24 hour BP monitor, my cardiologist suggested I start Carvedilol 6.25 1x per day (quite a low dose) for the spikes and to keep the heart from getting too excited. I agreed that maybe it was a good idea and started over two months ago. Other than stimulating rapid bowel movements, I did not notice any side effects at first. I would say about three to four weeks into taking the Carvedilol, I began not sleeping well. I also noticed my heart pounding, like a bass drum, slowly and steadily, at times. Then the heart pounding began to wake me up at night (it turns out my HR was down in the high 40s at night). Some nights I even felt my chest muscles vibrate, as if a phone on silence mode was on top of my chest. I started to notice this more and more and then I would have a few normal nights, so I figured I would just talk about this at my next cardio check (booked out in June). I also noticed I was getting more and more anxious. I wasn’t too sure why little things were beginning to bother me. I thought it was hormones, PMS, whatever, and started looking for someone like a therapist to talk to.

The previous week was bad. I woke up from a few nightmares and I started to panic in bed, just woken up from sleep. I had three nights of waking up to panic attacks and body shakes. The experiences made me very nervous. At this point I started looking into the side effects of Carvedilol and I was seeing not only chest pounding, but in rare cases reported effects of nightmares, visual disturbances, tremors, anxiety. I also know one does not simply stop a beta blocker, so we talked about tapering down. I tapered down for four days, and then I got in to see another cardiologist on Monday and he said just stop immediately. The effects are rare, but they have been noted. Going off this medication has been frightening. I feel weak and shaky all the time, and I get sporadic periods of pounding and muscle tremors in my legs, anxiety and fuzzy vision. I frequently get so cold I begin to shake. Yesterday I went back to the clinic for an EKG (normal) and some blood tests (including thyroid) and everything was normal. I am just assuming this is my body reacting and readapting itself after being on beta blockers. It has only been five days, but I am wondering if anyone out there has had similar experiences. How long did it take you to feel normal again? I ran a 5k just two weekends ago and yesterday I could hardly take a walk. Thanks for listening.

@teatime

It is me again! It has been ten days off the Carvedilol. while I don’t feel 100%, I am doing a lot better- maybe 85%. Weaning off of this drug was difficult. I am sleeping a lot better. My cardiologist prescribed me a mild anti anxiety pill to get over the first few nights (only half a dose for five nights) and that improved sleep quality and got me over the hump of unease at nighttime. My resting pulse is back up to about 60-62 which is more me (it was 50-52 while on Carvedilol and even lower at night). I felt that took the longest to stabilize. The night poundings have stopped. I have actually gone for two (albeit short) runs this week and have been doing a bit of yoga again. We are following up with a 24 hour halter test (I am doing that today) and an EKG (normal). I am monitoring my BP, which is pretty good. The cardiologist had originally prescribed Cozaar but is now open to trying a few months of lifestyle and diet changes and keeping a BP log- as long as I don’t spike again (I had to buy a cuff for home use). I am quite anxious to try another medication at this moment after this experience. I would like to give it a real chance to see if I can keep my BP down more naturally while I am still in my 40s.

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Best of luck! Keep us posted!!!

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@teatime and @neeci, thanks for your very helpful information on your experiences with Carvedilol. I’m just sticking my nose into this thread to firm up a link with you for the future, since I began taking Carvedilol today — 6.25mg twice daily with food. My pulse rate dropped quickly from a range of 72-85 to 48- 62, which seems low but was normal for me until a-fib was diagnosed two years ago. Given my a-fib, that may be too slow, but so far no pounding heart beats, and my BP averaged 135/76 three hours ago — best I have seen in months.

My hypertension physician is not a cardiologist, but a nephrologist. She called out the Carvedilol after a number of other meds failed to manage my BP and after consulting with my cardiologist. She is an exceptional genius in these matters, so for me and my condition, I’d sell the farm to keep her on my case. She gave me a full briefing on Carvedilol’s side effects and the difficulty of tapering off if necessary, rather than abruptly cutting off its use. In addition, she believes that it works differently from most other beta blockers (like Atenolol, which I was taking before), involving the kidneys in the metabolic processes, which helps to account for its apparent “power.”

Since you’re not into Carvedilol any more, I’ll understand if you simply note this without comment, but be sure that I’ll welcome any insights or experiential information you care to share. And I will be tracking you in this group.

Martin

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Has anybody had a problem getting off of it

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Hi @barnes123, Welcome to Connect. I moved your message to the Heart & Blood Health group so you can connect with other members like @teatime @neeci and @predictable who are talking about getting off Coreg. Click View & Reply to see the whole discussion.

Barnes – why are you currently taking Coreg? Have you started coming off it?

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. Yes I was having problems with. Vertigo my heart dr wanted to stop it and see if the dizziness would go away. I have been off of it for 3 days now and Feel weak and my body hurts and I have cramps in my hands and feet are tingling my head feels crazy.

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@colleenyoung

Hi @barnes123, Welcome to Connect. I moved your message to the Heart & Blood Health group so you can connect with other members like @teatime @neeci and @predictable who are talking about getting off Coreg. Click View & Reply to see the whole discussion.

Barnes – why are you currently taking Coreg? Have you started coming off it?

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Taking it for blood pressure. Yes I have been off it for 3days now

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@barnes123

. Yes I was having problems with. Vertigo my heart dr wanted to stop it and see if the dizziness would go away. I have been off of it for 3 days now and Feel weak and my body hurts and I have cramps in my hands and feet are tingling my head feels crazy.

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Hi, @barnes123, I’m a relative newby in using Coreg, but I hasten to add, it works for me. The generic version is Carvedilol, a beta blocker that my nephrologist said is more kidney-friendly than other hypertension meds. I came down with atrial fibrillation (a-fib) about two years ago, and a beta blocker was one way to help control my pulse rate. I started on 12.5mg daily (6.25 morning and evening), but boosted that up in steps to my current dosage of 50mg (25 morning and evening). I can’t identify any adverse symptoms attributable to the medication. If I have to withdraw its use for some reason, I will do so gradually to avoid a surprise from my heart, but right now I don’t anticipate having to back out. I say this against the following background: I have been hypertensive for 30 years, thanks to a kidney deficiency that robs me of potassium; as a result, I am in early stages of congestive heart failure and have to watch that carefully, especially when switching from one med to another over time.

Given my experience the last couple of years, I’d have trouble citing Carvedilol for symptoms like yours and would be looking further for their cause. If you’re having vertigo or other dizziness symptoms, you may wish to have your medical team do a comprehensive review of all of your meds, your diet, your supplements, and your physical activity, exercise, and life style. That could pinpoint a specific cause for your symptoms and move you onto a higher road toward a better life.

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Thanks for your input

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@teatime @predictable @cynaburst @barnes123 @neeci I realize that I’m coming into this discussion as a newbie to the whole beta blocker discussion. I’m awaiting aortic valve replacement and I’ve been taking an ACE inhibitor for years and have done well with it. After a heart catheterization in August the cardiologist put me on metoprolol succinate for heart failure and tachycardia. After about 10 days, I began with persistent headaches, dizziness, nausea and very vivid dreams. As my blood pressure tends to run low I was only taking 25 mg and the cardiologist advised me to go off of it and report back at the end of the week. I’m wondering if this type of reaction is common with all beta blockers. I’m also reading a response about taking 12.5 of his med twice a day and with food. I was just taking it at bedtime w/out food. Makes me wonder if I should have taken it differently. Well for now the headaches, dizziness, etc. are much improved without the beta blocker so I suppose I should be happy without it!

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@hopeful33250

@teatime @predictable @cynaburst @barnes123 @neeci I realize that I’m coming into this discussion as a newbie to the whole beta blocker discussion. I’m awaiting aortic valve replacement and I’ve been taking an ACE inhibitor for years and have done well with it. After a heart catheterization in August the cardiologist put me on metoprolol succinate for heart failure and tachycardia. After about 10 days, I began with persistent headaches, dizziness, nausea and very vivid dreams. As my blood pressure tends to run low I was only taking 25 mg and the cardiologist advised me to go off of it and report back at the end of the week. I’m wondering if this type of reaction is common with all beta blockers. I’m also reading a response about taking 12.5 of his med twice a day and with food. I was just taking it at bedtime w/out food. Makes me wonder if I should have taken it differently. Well for now the headaches, dizziness, etc. are much improved without the beta blocker so I suppose I should be happy without it!

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I only take 6.5 of coreg twice a day I was taking it with food but I was very dizzy with it I am trying to get off of it now per my Dr. But I am having body ache and cramps I was wonder if any one else had has this problem coming off of it. My head also feels like it has lot of pressure in it.

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@hopeful33250

@teatime @predictable @cynaburst @barnes123 @neeci I realize that I’m coming into this discussion as a newbie to the whole beta blocker discussion. I’m awaiting aortic valve replacement and I’ve been taking an ACE inhibitor for years and have done well with it. After a heart catheterization in August the cardiologist put me on metoprolol succinate for heart failure and tachycardia. After about 10 days, I began with persistent headaches, dizziness, nausea and very vivid dreams. As my blood pressure tends to run low I was only taking 25 mg and the cardiologist advised me to go off of it and report back at the end of the week. I’m wondering if this type of reaction is common with all beta blockers. I’m also reading a response about taking 12.5 of his med twice a day and with food. I was just taking it at bedtime w/out food. Makes me wonder if I should have taken it differently. Well for now the headaches, dizziness, etc. are much improved without the beta blocker so I suppose I should be happy without it!

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Hi @barnes123 I was wondering if you check your BP numbers when you have the symptoms of head pressures, etc. When I’ve done that, I’ve found my BP numbers extremely low. I try to compensate by taking in extra fluids which is supposed to help. You might try giving your BP a check and see what your numbers are and if they correlate with your symptoms. Let us know how you feel as you continue to work with the meds.

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@hopeful33250

@teatime @predictable @cynaburst @barnes123 @neeci I realize that I’m coming into this discussion as a newbie to the whole beta blocker discussion. I’m awaiting aortic valve replacement and I’ve been taking an ACE inhibitor for years and have done well with it. After a heart catheterization in August the cardiologist put me on metoprolol succinate for heart failure and tachycardia. After about 10 days, I began with persistent headaches, dizziness, nausea and very vivid dreams. As my blood pressure tends to run low I was only taking 25 mg and the cardiologist advised me to go off of it and report back at the end of the week. I’m wondering if this type of reaction is common with all beta blockers. I’m also reading a response about taking 12.5 of his med twice a day and with food. I was just taking it at bedtime w/out food. Makes me wonder if I should have taken it differently. Well for now the headaches, dizziness, etc. are much improved without the beta blocker so I suppose I should be happy without it!

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Teresa, I have no such adverse symptoms with Carvedilol, my beta blocker for the last several months. I’ll speculate a bit about what caused your bad experiences: It sounds like your cardiologist had you go off Metropolol abruptly; that would be a mistake (https://www.drugs.com/cdi/metoprolol-succinate-extended-release-tablets.html). Perhaps he should have had you taper off over five days or more. Did your doctor take you off the ACE inhibitor when he put you on a beta blocker? That too can cause a problem if done abruptly. Taking your beta blocker twice a day — breakfast and dinner — with food might have been advised by your pharmacist.

Your situation and mine differ in several ways: I have high blood pressure and a slow pulse while you had low blood pressure and tachycardia that Metropolol can help, and my a-fib has not been surgically addressed while you had a catheterization.

I sense that all of that is behind you now that you have found a measure of comfort and stability, that’s great! I hope your other indicators are getting aligned so that your valve replacement goes without unusual incidents.
Martin

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@hopeful33250

@teatime @predictable @cynaburst @barnes123 @neeci I realize that I’m coming into this discussion as a newbie to the whole beta blocker discussion. I’m awaiting aortic valve replacement and I’ve been taking an ACE inhibitor for years and have done well with it. After a heart catheterization in August the cardiologist put me on metoprolol succinate for heart failure and tachycardia. After about 10 days, I began with persistent headaches, dizziness, nausea and very vivid dreams. As my blood pressure tends to run low I was only taking 25 mg and the cardiologist advised me to go off of it and report back at the end of the week. I’m wondering if this type of reaction is common with all beta blockers. I’m also reading a response about taking 12.5 of his med twice a day and with food. I was just taking it at bedtime w/out food. Makes me wonder if I should have taken it differently. Well for now the headaches, dizziness, etc. are much improved without the beta blocker so I suppose I should be happy without it!

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@predictable Hi Marin: Thanks for your thought reply. You have some good thoughts. No, I was never taken off the ACE Inhibitor. Metropolol was “in addition” to that. l did talk to the pharmacist and she only said to take it at a different time that the ACE inhibitor but no other suggestions were given. If I have ever am prescribed a beta blocker again, I’ll certainly ask more questions and plan on a different dosing plan. I will be going to U of Michigan for a second opinion on the valve replacement in mid-October and then I’ll make a decision on when and where to have the surgery. Thanks for your good wishes.

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@hopeful33250

@teatime @predictable @cynaburst @barnes123 @neeci I realize that I’m coming into this discussion as a newbie to the whole beta blocker discussion. I’m awaiting aortic valve replacement and I’ve been taking an ACE inhibitor for years and have done well with it. After a heart catheterization in August the cardiologist put me on metoprolol succinate for heart failure and tachycardia. After about 10 days, I began with persistent headaches, dizziness, nausea and very vivid dreams. As my blood pressure tends to run low I was only taking 25 mg and the cardiologist advised me to go off of it and report back at the end of the week. I’m wondering if this type of reaction is common with all beta blockers. I’m also reading a response about taking 12.5 of his med twice a day and with food. I was just taking it at bedtime w/out food. Makes me wonder if I should have taken it differently. Well for now the headaches, dizziness, etc. are much improved without the beta blocker so I suppose I should be happy without it!

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I too had trouble with a beta blocker but my doctor cut the dosage in half for 2 weeks, then had me take the regular dose. This worked wonderfully and I felt totally normal. So my personal thought is that it is the amount of the drug that makes the difference. Hope you soon feel better and good luck to you.

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I was placed on carvidiol on Aug 2014, at 3.25 increased to 6.125 where I stayed until Aug 5 of 2016. On that date after very slowly decreasing my dose over time I stop taking carvedilol. For 2 and a half months my BP did great, no problems but just 4 days ago my BP spiked to where I went to the ER. After blood tests and exrays nothing was found. I did not have a heart attack or heart damage but because my BP was 165/75 the er doctors told me to start my carvedilol again. I was so panic that I did and have felt terrible since. Last night I took my BP and it was a low 109/62 with a house of 45 . I never got that low. I never had any symptoms of a heart attack more like a panic attack. I was kept being asked if I had a heart attack eailer when I was put on the medication and no doctor ever told me I did. Although I must have in order to be on this drug, right? Is it normal/usual to have a blood pressure spike so long after being off carvedilol? And do I start it all up again. As for my PCP I have yet to see her, tried to make contact but still no response. I just don’t know what I should do. Please any advice?

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